An email finds me from David Evans, containing a rather wonderful image he’s spotted in an Alton Douglas book that he’s like to know more about – it surely is a cracker and I’d love to know more about these ladies and what they were up to. I’m quite excited about it, because it has the potential to shed more light on Wartime Brownhills, a period that seems to be curiously barren in the historical record.
I’m always wary of images from this series of books, as sometimes the captions are not as well researched as they could be, so please do feel free (as ever) to correct any details. My thanks to David again. He really is turning up some cracking stuff at the moment.
Some while ago you kindly published the photo of a British legion plaque in your article ‘Can anyone help Bill‘. One of the ladies in that photo was deduced to be a Mrs. Parsley in her fine hat (see the comments).
The conversations arising from that photo revealed that Mrs. Parsley was an important member of the local wartime WVS as an area organiser. It also came to light that there was a ‘British Restaurant’ , a sort of temporary hut that stood near the Central Boy’s School (Annexe), in Brownhills during the war.
The above image appears on page 16 of ‘Memories of Walsall’ by Alton Douglas, published in 1990, with the legend ‘Demonstration of outdoor cookery by WVS members, Brownhills, 1943’.
From conversations with friends recently I think we can now add much more information. The building is indeed the British Restaurant, and was a temporary building. Mrs. Parsley is the lady standing on the extreme right of the group, and Mrs. Nancy Bradbury is standing on the left.
I wonder if your readers can help to identify the other ladies in this group, please? Maybe shed some light on the British Restaurant?
So, what do you know? Comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.